Many times I’ve watched my kids and their cousins noodling on guitars, improvising songs based on benign observations of their surroundings. By not striving for any divine meaning, such rudimentary music holds a distinct charm; its unabashed innocence lacking any pretense is refreshing.
I can only hope my brood is years away from carpets stained by bong water and memories of drug-induced revelry that inhabit Suitcase, the sophomore album from Seattle’s Wimps. As the bloated excess of prog rock begat punk, the trio of Rachel Ratner, Matt Nyce and Dave Ramm relish in the latter’s urgency without lingering on larger thematic particulars. Their stoned vitality is relegated to “Couches”, an ode to sloth. Lambs laying down on Broadway are less a concern than “rats as big as dinosaurs” trolling their “Dump”; possibly frightening “Dave’s Babes”, which recalls the Pixies’ “Tony’s Theme”; or the droning climate complaint of “Basement”.
Extracting themselves from the upholstery to broach modern concerns such as the lack of human interaction on the onomatopoeic “Modern Communication” and gentrification and its resulting lack of drugs on “Capitol Hill”, Ratner’s unvarying delivery is well suited for the slacker anthems on Suitcase. From the playground chant “Vampire” with its “A…B…C…D…E…F…G / Suck your blood with my fake teeth” to the chugging surf riff of “Suitcase”, such a jaded worldview proves influential to younger generations, schooling young whippersnappers on their lack of originality (“All the stuff you have done / I’ve seen one thousand times before”) on the chiding “Old Guy” before attempting to bum a beer.
Speaking more to workaday adults than future disaffected youth, Suitcase is a 27-minute uprising of stupid fun. The lasting influence of the monosyllabic manifesto “Take it as it Comes” (“I know this sucks”) is one hell of a hangover that employed parents will be happy to revisit time and again.